Drillers in the minerals industry may perform the following tasks:
- Move rigs onto site and set them up;
- Position drills and set angles and depths;
- Start and stop drills and coordinate utility workers on site;
- Check equipment and progress throughout operation;
- Operate secondary equipment, such as pumps (air and mud) and equipment used to prevent and correct problems;
- Record performance details and take drill core samples;
- Carry out minor maintenance and repairs, and
- Dismantle and move rig to next site.
Drillers typically need to be interested in practical and manual activities, be physically fit and able to handle machinery. Often the work is in remote areas, under difficult conditions so teamwork is important. Drillers also need to record details accurately, as precision is crucial to the safety of the exploration. Drillers applying for a job in the minerals industry need to be 18 years old or over, have a clean police record, pass a medical examination and have a drug and alcohol clearance.
Surface Driller: $70,000 “” $120,000 Underground Driller: $80,000 “” $130,000 Drill and Blast Engineer: $80,000 “” $105,000
Entry to this occupation is generally through an AQF Certificate III or higher qualification. In some instances relevant experience is required in addition to the formal qualification.